West Palm Beach tower implosion a success

By Chuck Weber - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The hurricane-battered 1515 tower near downtown West Palm Beach came down Sunday morning.

Update, SUN 9:20 AM: It took 2,000 sticks of dynamite and seven seconds to bring the tower down. Cheers rang out as the eye shore building fall straight down leaving a massive pile of debris.

The explosion could be heard a half mile away and the cloud of dust could be seen for miles.

Workers have until May to clean up the site to make room for a new building along Flagler Drive.

Previously: Neighbors in nearby condos have endured the 1515 eyesore since the 2004 hurricanes. While eager to see the nuisance gone, neighbors also wonder what will happen to their buildings.

"I live in Viking Arms, and we're a little concerned," said Larry Ayers, who watched the workers Monday while he was sitting on the seawall.

Eric Kelly, whose company; Advanced Explosives Demolition; is handling the implosion, said the plan is to bring the building straight down. Dynamite will only be placed on six different floors saying the dynamite essentially acts as a catalyst and gravity does the rest.

"It's quite a detailed process," said Kelly. "Not like you see in the movies. It's very much a science, and you try to minimize the amount of explosives you use, so you don't have material flying all over the place."

Curtains will be draped from the roofs of the neighboring condo buildings. This should stop any flying debris and help reduce the dust.

The implosion is set for 9:00 a.m. Sunday. Police will start closing the roads around 1515 Tower at 6:00 a.m.

The City of West Palm Beach is making the area within 750 feet of the implosion off-limits and evacuating all buildings within 500 feet.

On land, sidewalks and the seawall are about the only public areas close to the implosion site.  The city encourages those viewing the implosion to drive downtown, park in public garages and street spaces, and walk to your viewing spot.

"There's no parking in the immediate vicinity that's public parking," pointed out Doug Wise of the city's Construction Services Division. "There's no facilities. There's no bathrooms or anything like that. We can't make it a public event."

Therefore, give yourself plenty of time.

Google Map Below.